Flash Movie Review: Fool’s Paradise
IF YOU HAVE NEVER SAT WITH someone who was constantly posting things on their social media sites, then consider yourself quite lucky. I myself have been lucky, but I did have someone sitting at the next table to me at a restaurant who was posting stuff. Besides being inconsiderate with all her narrations, she was taking photos of every dish that came to the table. I sat there trying to ignore it all, but it was like trying to ignore fireworks going off in your backyard. All her movements were overexaggerated as was her dialog. The baked potato was not just delicious with butter and sour cream, it was according to her a perfect blend of buttery dollops floating in a sea of smooth cream, with a touch of shaved cheddar cheese sprinkled on top like a brief spring shower. I could not imagine who would be following her on social media; what made her such an expert, I wondered. Not that I judge people by their appearances, but she barely looked of legal age and talked in a phony solicitous way. I did chuckle at the way she kept flicking her long hair back, to keep her face in the best lighting possible. What was the purpose of her doing these posts; did she expect everyone watching to go to the restaurant? Or did she hope to find a way to monetize her sites based on the number of people following her? I do not get it. THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A PRODUCT I purchased based on a celebrity endorsement. These days there are some bloggers that have become celebrities; no matter, I would not act on the advice of a blogger, actor, musician or anyone who was not an expert on the subject. Many celebrities have been spokespeople for products or services; though, it seems to me it has increased in number after the golden age of Hollywood. Nowadays, it only takes a person to do one thing that gets noticed and the press quickly blows it out of proportion. It reminds me of that documentary I reviewed where a homeless man saved a woman from an attack, after a traffic incident. He became this hot topic, being wooed by talk show hosts and news outlets. It turned out he might have staged the event and was later accused of murder. Go figure. I cannot describe it fully, but there seems to be this voracious appetite in the news/entertainment worlds to continually elevate people to these absurdly high levels of public recognition, no matter who or what they may have done or not done. This comedic satire can show you an example of what I have been talking about. HAVING BEEN RELEASED FROM A MENTAL health facility, a homeless man soon becomes the latest rage in Hollywood’s media mill. With Charlie Day (Fist Fight, I Want You Back) as Latte Pronto, Ken Jeong (Crazy Rich Asians, The Hangover franchise) as Lenny the Publicist, Kate Beckinsale (Underworld franchise, Love & Friendship) as Christiana Dior, Adrien Brody (Blonde, The French Dispatch) as Chad Luxt and Jason Sudeikis (Colossal, Ted Lasso-TV) as Lex Tanner; Charlie wrote and directed this film. I thought he did an admirable job with his character, which had no dialog; it was completely a physical role. He along with the celebrity cameo roles were the high points of this movie. The script lacked humor, depth and emotion. It kept reminding me of an old Peter Sellars film titled Being There. I knew something had to be up because I was the only one sitting in the theater. There really was nothing unique here except, as I said, for cameo appearances from such celebrities as Ray Liotta and Jason Bateman. With nothing funny or unique being offered, I was left bored through most of this film.
1 ½ star
Flash Movie Review: The People We Hate at the Wedding
I HAVE ATTENDED ENOUGH WEDDINGS TO know what I do not want at mine. There was the wedding where the bride had a partial meltdown because the main dish was horrible; I mean it was barely edible and at least at my table, all the meals were lukewarm or cold. One wedding that is still vivid in my mind is the one where the bride and her mother-in-law got into a huge fight during the reception and the bride ran off to the bathroom, where she cried for several minutes. When she finally came out, she refused to acknowledge her mother-in-law’s presence for the rest of the evening. Talk about an awkward situation, it was surreal. The poor groom was so torn between his mother and the love of his life, he felt totally hopeless and wound up sitting at the foot of the head table, with his face in his hands. The entire evening felt like a theater produced farce because all the guests were so taken aback by the drama. Oh, I almost forgot about my friend, who was getting married, telling me how angry he was at his “crazy” relatives because they were calling his mother to tell her who they did not want to sit with at the reception. I was surprised the mother told him and did not put the relatives in their place. I guess weddings can bring the worst out of some people. A WEDDING IS A TIME TO put aside any issues one has with another wedding guest; whether it is a family member or friend, the nuptials should be a drama free zone. I was at a wedding where I was stuck at a table with an obnoxious drunk, who I had a previous run-in with at the groom’s house. I found him to be rude and inconsiderate. Despite my previous altercation with him, I remained neutral and polite during the wedding reception. I could see his negativity was negatively affecting the other guests at the table, but I chose not to share my opinion and past experiences of him. This was not the place to feed into his drama. Let the guests make up their own minds about him. Another point I want to make; if the food is not good, do not tell the wedding couple. in my opinion, it would be rude and immature. No matter how much planning goes into a wedding event, things happen and the happy couple should not be burdened with any of the guests’ issues. Apparently, the family members in this comedy think differently. DESPITE THE PROBLEMS BEING EXPERIENCED AT home, a family comes together for a half-sister’s wedding in England. It would have been easier if they had left some of their emotional baggage behind. With Allison Janney (Hairspray, Bad Education) as Donna, Ben Platt (Pitch Perfect franchise, Dear Evan Hansen) as Paul, Kristen Bell (Bad Moms franchise, The Boss) as Alice, Cynthia Addai-Robinson (The Accountant, Colombiana) as Eloise and Isaach De Bankole (Black Panther franchise, Shaft) as Henrique; this film needed to focus on rewriting the script instead of filling it with cliched jokes and humor. I did not find much to laugh or chuckle about. The cast was certainly capable, but the dialog was so basic, besides bordering on the ridiculous, that I felt myself cringing when the actors were acting out in some of the scenes. I honestly am not sure what the writers were trying to do with this piece. There was one story line that had a ring of truth to it, but it was being buried by the craziness of the other lines. I felt the worst for Allison and Kristen; they had to have known what they were getting into when they signed on to this picture. So, if you get an invitation to see this film, you might want to decline it.
1 ½ stars
Flash Movie Review: Magic Mike’s Last Dance
DESPITE BEING FRIENDS FOR A LONG time, there was nothing I could say or do to stop my friend from what she was doing. She had been in a long term relationship for four or five years before it turned sour and ended. I helped her through her sorrow and tried to convince her to stop stalking him on his social media sites. Speaking from experience, I knew there was nothing good to gain from watching the person you had fallen in love with go on with their life without you. Unfortunately, she would not give up on following him. I just knew this did not bode well for the healing process; I knew her so well. As I expected, she started focusing on her appearance. First, she worked towards getting rock solid by exercising and dieting; we are talking hardcore dieting. Her sporadic bouts of exercise became a daily constant in her life, from jogging to fitness classes to weight training. I am all for people exercising but for the right reasons. The advice I would give her about not training the same muscles two days in a row was heard but not always acted upon. If she was going to keep up this pace, she would be a candidate for a pulled muscle or stress fracture sometime in the near future. ONCE SHE STARTED SEEING RESULTS FROM her efforts, she started to alter her fashion style, going for a “younger look,” whatever that means. I liked some of the new clothing, but there were other choices that made me cringe inside. Of course, I did not say it like that to her when she asked my opinion; I just told her I did not think it was very attractive on her. I thought that was a pretty diplomatic answer. The next part of her evolution was the one that really made me cringe to the point I told her it would not be a good idea; he was not worth all of her time and effort. She planned on going with friends to the places he would be hanging out, like bars and restaurants. If she could not pin down the exact locations off of his social media sites, she planned on taking chances at several of his favorites spots. I thought it was such an awful idea that caused my stomach to twist into knots. No one was worth going through all of the work and then the embarrassment of trying to flaunt one’s self in front of their former love. I felt I was going to witness a trainwreck just like the one I watched in this comedy drama. BEING A BARTENDER AT CHARITY EVENTS was not what Mike Lane, played by Channing Tatum (Dog, Logan Lucky), envisioned for himself; that is why he agreed to accept the hostess’ offer despite it sounding crazy. With Salma Hayek (Eternals, Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard) as Maxandra Mendoza, Ayub Khan-Din (London Bridge-TV, Coronation Street-TV) as Victor, Vicki Pepperdine (Johnny English Strikes Again, My Cousin Rachel) as Edna Eaglebauer and Alan Cox (Young Sherlock Holmes, The Dictator) as Roger Rattigan; this film directed by Steven Soderbergh (Erin Brockovich, Ocean’s Eleven franchise) was a shock for me. I rarely ever say this, but it was cringe worthy. The script was looney and most of the time I sat in my seat feeling embarrassed for Salma. If I need to say something was worthwhile seeing then I would say the dance scenes. It did not seem as if age had any affect on Channing, he still had the moves. I also enjoyed the scene with his old buddies. Outside of those things, I thought this film was such a mess. There did not seem to be any connections between anyone and zero back story. Maybe Channing was under contract to participate in this production. I suggest one not pay the cover charge and go to a different establishment instead to dance.
1 ½ stars
Flash Movie Review: Blade of the 47 Ronin
I COULD NOT BELIEVE AFTER ALL these years; the city changed the street I grew up on to one way. All those years watching two cars trying to navigate between themselves and the parked cars that lined the street, then out of the blue the city now decided the street was not wide enough to accommodate more than one car at a time driving on it. I could have told them that decades ago. The apartment building, we lived in, looked the same except the back porches were now enclosed with a translucent type of plastic or PVC material to protect, I was guessing, the wood from the elements. From the houses down the block, there was nothing different that stuck out; they all looked the same, except for a fresh coat of paint or different floral landscaping. As I drove around the old neighborhood, I saw the elevated railroad tracks for the commuter train had extra support beams. They should have been added when I was living there because the cement back then was breaking off in pieces and the metal beams were rusting. Anytime I had to drive underneath the train bridge, the image of falling cement pieces always flashed through my mind. IN MY OLD NEIGHBORHOOD THERE WERE two business districts; one was a couple of blocks away from where we lived and the other was near the lake. I decided to drive down them to see what they looked like these days. The closer of the two, where we mostly did our shopping, had changed drastically. The grocery store where I used to return soda pop bottles for the deposit money was no longer there. A flea market type of business moved into the building. There used to be four restaurants on the main street; today only one remains under a different name. I remember almost every establishment had an electric sign or at least lights that highlighted the signage of the business. Now, there were several businesses that I could not tell if they just opened because they had those vinyl banner signs hung up. Not that this is a negative, but none of the establishments sounded familiar to me. I did notice there seemed to be more litter strewn across the sidewalks and street. My memory was of a pretty (for commercial buildings) avenue with an ice cream parlor, independent drug store, clothing stores, among other retail businesses. What I was seeing was an unattractive strip of a bunch of hodgepodge stores, some with their signs hanging down off center and others with hand drawing on their windows. It really made me sad for the memory of a place that gave me joy as I was growing up. Oddly, though I have a vague memory of the original film, this sequel made me feel the same sad way. DESPITE THE PASSING CENTURIES, LIVING AMONGST us today are the ancient Ronin warriors. They are not the only ones hiding from us. With Anna Akana (A Million Little Things-TV, Amphibia-TV) as Luna, Mark Dacascos (One Night in Bangkok, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum) as Shinshiro, Teresa Ting (She Has a Name, Don Peyote) as Onami, Mike Moh (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Empire-TV) as Reo and Dustin Nguyen (Zero Tolerance, Warrior-TV) as Nikko; this action, fantasy drama was confusing to me. I simply did not understand why the movie studio felt it needed to make a sequel. My memory is sketchy, but I remember the original movie had some beautiful cinematography and interesting fight scenes. At least there were decent fight scenes in this film; but the script was all over the place. I never felt connected to any of the characters, and I thought the special effects were dull. Nearly ten years after the first film, I just do not understand why the movie studio felt the need to do this film and then not do it well. Sometimes, it is better to leave the viewer with a memory of a decent film instead of trying to update it for profit. There were multiple scenes of blood and violence.
1 ½ stars
Flash Movie Review: The Munsters
THERE WERE TWO HOUSES IN OUR neighborhood that were totally different from any other, but both were equally creepy. One house was completely painted in a drab brown color: everything from the front stairs, porch, railings, shutters, door and window frames. At nighttime no one could tell if anyone was at home because the lights were never on; or the windows were so heavily curtained that the light could not penetrate. All the years I lived in the neighborhood, I never once saw anyone entering or leaving the house. There was no front lawn; it was all cemented over with one large oak tree that stuck out from the ground like it had killed it. Whenever I cut through the alley in back, I could never tell if there was a backyard or not because the was a huge dense hedge that surrounded the perimeter. As you can imagine, no one ever ventured past the wrought iron front gate at Halloween; the place was too scary all year round. Whenever my friends and I were playing outside, we made sure to never throw or hit a ball in the house’s direction, in case the ball was to bounce into its front yard. None of us had the courage to climb over the fence and get closer to that house. THE OTHER HOUSE THAT WAS SCARY to us was brightly painted in green and orange hues. It had trellis work all around the front porch with vines spreading across it. The stairs leading up to the front door were bowed, as if something big had climbed up and down them repeatedly. In the front yard there was an assortment of wildflowers, some that were taller than me. I never knew who lived inside because again, there was no sign of life or activity. The dense foliage that surrounded the house like a suit of armor made the place look menacing. It was the type of place that looked like Sleeping Beauty would have been served a poison apple there or Hansel and Gretel would have been held to be used in a cauldron of soup. There was an odd weathervane attached to the house’s chimney; it was hard to figure out if the figurine was a human or animal. I used to try and picture what would live in this and the other house. Now here is the interesting part; in all my imaginings, I never once thought humans were inhabiting the houses. They had to be some type of alien or monster, more akin to the family in this comedy fantasy. MOVING TO AN AMERICAN SUBURB WOULD be a big adjustment for this Transylvanian family. It would be an even bigger adjustment for the people who lived around them. With Sheri Moon Zombie (The Lords of Salem, The Devil’s Rejects) as Lily, Jeff Daniel Phillips (3 From Hell, The Gifted-TV) as Herman, Daniel Roebuck (The Fugitive, Getting Grace) as The Count, Richard Brake (The Rhythm Section, Bingo Hell) as Dr. Wolfgang and Jorge Garcia (Lost-TV, The Wedding Ringer) as Floop; this reboot of the television show has the distinction of being the worst film I have seen this year. I could appreciate the idea of bringing the Munster family to a whole new generation; but this film was too corny and boring. The special effects were dull, the script failed at humor and the story came across like a poorly done Saturday morning cartoon. The actors were not bad, considering they had a tough act to follow with the original actors; but I felt the writers were forcing the campiness so much that scenes just looked ridiculous. This could have been a better film if the story focused more on the early times just when Lily and Herman were about to meet each other. If I had my way, I would have preferred rewatching one of the Addams Family television episodes.
1 ½ stars
Flash Movie Review: Me Time
WE WERE ALWAYS HANGING OUT TOGETHER. Back in the day we were able to eat lunch together despite not having the same classes. At parties if we were not sitting close to each other, we still were always within earshot. Our humor was similar, where we laughed at the same stupid things as someone tripping or having an embarrassing moment. Speaking for myself, I was immature and did not know better. For example, both of us kept our ears close to the gossip trail that went through our school. It sounds weird saying this, but we enjoyed hearing when there was a breakup in someone’s relationship. Our thinking was if we are not dating someone then no one else should either? I am doing a little psychoanalyzing as I am writing this review. It was not as if we thrived on bad news, but we certainly liked to be aware of the social stuff taking place at the school. Even when we were dating, we still found time to hang out and do stuff. I am sure what I am describing is not that unusual from anyone else. Since our school had definite cliques, the two of us could have been considered one. AS WE GREW OLDER, THINGS STARTED to change. The things we enjoyed doing back in school were holding less interest for me. We still spent time together with the same group of friends from time to time, but I was losing interest in the gossip and silly stuff we used to do back in school. I was not alone in this regard; I was thinking more about what direction I wanted my life to go towards, both in career and living space. As other interests filtered in, we did not see as much of each other. Looking back, I wished I had the skills then to express what I was feeling, but I did not. It was apparent we were having less and less in common, and I was drifting apart. There was still an affection for my friend, plus we had known each other for a long time. And I believe that was what kept us connected; it was our history together. We had both experienced so much together growing up that the emotions of that time kept a bond between us. However, as time was moving forward and the history was fading further back, I felt myself slipping away. There was no ill will and for those times we had seen each other later, there was a familiar comfortableness; but we also are not the same as we were when we were younger. Many of us, I believe, experience this same type of thing. It is part of growing up and you can see what it is like for some in this comedy. RECONNECTING WITH AN OLD FRIEND WAS supposed to be a good time for this stay-at-home dad. He was not prepared for it to turn into a wild weekend. With Kevin Hart (The Upside, Night School) as Sonny Fisher, Mark Wahlberg (Joe Bell, Instant Family) as Huck Dembo, Regina Hall (Girls Trip; Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul) as Maya Fisher, Che Tafari (The Good Place-TV, Daredevil-TV) as Dashiell Fisher and newcomer Amentii Sledge as Ava Fisher; the story in this movie was a good idea. But I am here to tell you, what the writers did was a crime. Pretty much most of the film consisted of gags and low-level humor. There were jokes for almost every body part/action and because they were not particularly funny, became a distraction for me. Kevin’s character was no different than almost any of the other comedy roles he has done. There was nothing here that made the performance unique. I was disinterested for a majority of the time; there simply was nothing new or exciting here. What was the studio thinking when they made this picture?
1 ½ stars
Flash Movie Review: They/Them
I WOULD LIKE YOU TO READ the following comments and tell me what they all have in common: “You would look better if you cut your hair.” “If you would lose some weight, you would look nicer.” “Why don’t you go into accounting; you are so good with numbers?” “I think you should play football; it will do you good.” Now that you have read them, what do you think is the answer? If you said, all the statements were offering unsolicited advice you would be correct. If you also said the statements were seeking to make a change in the individual, that would be a correct answer as well. For me, there is a difference between offering advice when asked compared to telling a person what you think they should do. No one has the right to try and change a person except for a psychiatrist and that is only if the person is seeking the means for a change in their life. One of the things I believe in is every person was put on this planet to experience or be happy. If they are not happy, then they need to find the means to experience happiness for themselves, whatever happiness means to them. When I first started to lose weight, I was doing it because I was not happy with my size. Clothes never fit correctly, were hard to find in my size and I tired quickly which made me unhappy. Despite the name calling and hearing the comments from “good intentioned” people; my weight loss only happened when I decided I wanted to make a change. I HAD A FRIEND IN SCHOOL who was the butt of jokes and nasty comments because he was perceived as different by several students. He was super smart, with interests that were different from the other students. Having no interest in sports, besides not being athletically inclined, he was fascinated with art and fashion. It was never a surprise for me to see him walking down the hallway in clothing one would find in a fashion magazine. Where I preferred plain home style cooking, he always wanted to try some exotic, foreign food. Despite the ridicule and taunting he received, he did not change what he did. I admired his determination not to change himself just so he could fit in. He would tell me if the bullies cannot appreciate his passion, then it is their issue not his. I thought of him and others who would not change themselves because someone wanted them to be different, as I watched this mystery, horror thriller. THE METHODS AND TECHNIQUES BEING USED at an LGBTQ+ conversion camp was becoming increasingly more uncomfortable for a group of teenage campers. And that was taking place before a dead body showed up. With Kevin Bacon (The Woodsman, My One and Only) as Owen, Theo Germaine (Work in Progress-TV, The Politician-TV) as Jordan, Anna Chlumsky (My Girl franchise, Veep-TV) as Molly, Carrie Preston (The Good Wife-TV, True Blood-TV) as Cora and Quei Tann (Dear White People-TV, Bruh-TV) as Alexandra; the idea behind this story intrigued me enough to decide to watch it. The cast was good, and the entire flavor of this film felt like a flashback to the stalker movies from the 70’s and 80’s. Unfortunately, the script was a poor patchwork of what felt like “woke” marketing topics. I was bored through parts of this picture; it lacked the suspense and horror one needs to make a story intense. At times, it felt like there were two story lines that could have gone their separate ways in their own movie. Credit must be given to the producers for approving this story to film; however, I do not feel the writing did it any justice. Characters were stereotypical and the scenes were predictable most of the time. Now, I am not telling the writers to make changes; however, maybe another rewrite would have helped this film. There were several scenes with blood and violence.
1 ½ stars
Flash Movie Review: Morbius
I HAVE BEEN TOLD I HAVE a suspicious nature and to tell you the truth, I do not totally disagree with it. When I meet someone for the first time, I am polite and cordial as we exchange questions and comments; however, there is a part of me that is assessing the person, both in what they say and their mannerisms. I remember a company I worked for where on my first day, this employee came up and introduced himself to me. He asked me some benign questions at first, but then there seemed to be a couple of questions thrown in that were a little more personal. I answered them despite being wary of his purpose for such questions. As the weeks went by, we wound up having a decent work relationship. However, I still had my radar out trying to figure him out. I was always careful to maintain a professional attitude while settling into my place within the company. It was not too long before I started seeing some of this employee’s actions in an unfavorable light. He would leave early some days, others come in late; it seemed as if he was creating his own schedule. There were even some days where he just did not show up. For the fact he was in upper management, I did not question his actions; I just was getting a bad feeling about his motives. As it turned out, he was transitioning to a competitor and taking trade secrets with him. I was right to keep my distance because those employees who were closer to him had to be interviewed by upper management which led to this employee being terminated. MY RADAR HAS SERVED ME WELL in life. A friend of mine was dating a man I did not trust. There was something about him that set off my radar. Maybe it was the way he bragged about his personal possessions or his inflated ego; I just knew something was off about him. All of us would get together for dinner or a movie and each time around him my guard was up. Because I had such a close relationship with my friend, I shared my concerns with her; not in a confrontational way but expressing how I felt around him. She appreciated it but I do not know if it made a difference in how she felt about this guy. As it turned out several months later, he asked to borrow some money from her. Once she was satisfied with the answers she got to her questions, she lent him the funds. I was surprised but could not say anything, nor did I have to because she never heard from him again. There are some people you get a vibe from that you cannot trust them. This is how I felt about the main character in this action horror movie. AFTER EXPERIMENTING ON HIMSELF with a new treatment for his disease, a biochemist develops a side effect that could be lethal, but to who? With Jared Leto (House of Gucci, Suicide Squad) as Dr. Michael Morbius, Matt Smith (Last Night in Soho, The Forgiven) as Milo, Adria Arjona (Life of the Party, Pacific Rim: Uprising) as Martine Bancroft, Jared Harris (Poltergeist, The Crown-TV) as Dr. Emil Nicholas and Tyrese Gibson (Fast & Furious franchise, Black and Blue) as Agent Simon Stroud; this adventure movie was a confusing mess to me. I could not tell if the character Morbius was a good or bad character, which led me to a level of boredom. The special effects were poorly done, and the fight scenes were hyper fast with intermittent slow-motion movement, in other words not appealing or exciting. Any attempts at humor fell flat in the poorly constructed script. Throughout the picture, I never made a connection to any of the characters. Maybe it was due to the acting which was only adequate; but I was bored through most of the film. Sadly, the movie studio must be hoping for a sequel because there were 2 extra scenes during the credits.
1 ½ stars
Flash Movie Review: Annette
THERE IS A FINE LINE BETWEEN the feelings of annoyance and hatred. I cannot say it is a rock-solid line in my world. My grocery store stopped carrying my brand of bagged spinach, so they could sell their in-house store brand. I was annoyed but bought their bag anyway. Honestly, I cannot tell the difference except their brand has more loose stems in the bag than my brand. Well now for the past 3 weeks, I open the bag and find partially decomposed pieces. I double checked but knew the bag’s expiration date had not passed. The first time this happened, I was annoyed. The same the 2nd time it happened. But now, I hate their bagged spinach and plan on going to a different grocery store just to get bagged spinach that doesn’t look like slime after you open the bag for the first time. Currently, I am getting annoyed with this store’s fresh broccoli. I do not know what is happening but the last couple of times I have brought it home and washed it, within a couple of days the florets turn dark and mushy. I have been buying broccoli for years and have never had an issue up until now. If this keeps up, I will stop buying the store’s broccoli as well. I am telling you, if they keep annoying me with food that quickly goes bad, I may decide the heck with them and buy all my groceries from a different store. SO MANY PEOPLE ARE QUICK TO JUDGE something or someone and decide they do not like it. I am guilty of this when it especially comes to food. If it doesn’t look good to me, I will not eat it. I am a texture eater; if a food dish looks like it is gelatinous, I cannot stomach even looking at it. Have you ever had food in a sauce that you saved for the next day and the sauce turned into something like an aspic? It has happened to me with some Asian dishes. It is more than an annoyance for me when I open the storage container and see pieces of food suspended in a murky jelly like substance. Do I actually hate it? I know I hate when it happens but maybe I can say I do not like the look of it, though my feelings are close to hating the stuff. Hate is a word I try not to randomly throw around on what essentially are innocuous things. I do not hate public transportation, but I hate running for a bus or train that pulls away as I am getting up to it. For the first time this year, I experienced the strongest feelings that bordered on hatred for a movie. A COMEDIAN’S AND OPERA SINGER’S RELATIONSHIP is all being viewed in the public’s eye. As the two get more serious, so does the pressure. With Adam Driver (Marriage Story, The Report) as Henry McHenry, Marion Cotilard (Angel Face, The Immigrant) as Ann Defrasnoux, Simon Helberg (Florence Foster Jenkins, Old School) as The Accompanist, relative newcomer Devyn McDowell as Annette in prison and Natalia Lafourcade (Amar no es querer, El cielo en tu mirada) as Special Guest/The Police; this dramatic musical romance tested my limits on keeping me engaged. Visually I did not mind the scenes; however, I thought almost every musical number was awful. Listening to Adam sing through the film was rough. Maybe there is some secret symbolism in the story; but with my focus being on the entertainment factor, I thought the script was a poor piece of a story that has been told time and time again. The irony here is I liked the acting; but there was nothing in this picture that I found enjoyable. To me, it was pretentious as it attempted to be “artsy.” And at 2 hours and 21 minutes, it was a long and painful waste of time.
1 ½ stars
Flash Movie Review: The New Mutants
IT HAS BEEN A LITTLE OVER one year when we first heard about this new virus spreading around the world. Everywhere I looked there was news about people getting sick and being hospitalized due to this unknown virus. Without the knowledge, all these recommendations were coming out on how to protect oneself: such as avoid touching the face, eyes, mouth, physical human contact and common surfaces. Up until this point, I was going to the movie theaters on a weekly basis. With all this information and warnings coming out, I started questioning whether it was safe to continue going to the movie theaters. Less and less people were there each week. Since it was the tail end of winter, I felt I could stay safe wearing a mask and my winter gloves. It certainly was weird to walk into a theater and see no one at the concession stands. The self-serve beverage machines all had big yellow X’s taped across them and there were no employees behind the candy counter. My ticket was on my phone; so, when I got near the ticket taker, I extended my arm out all the way to avoid getting any closer to him. Funny, he did the same thing with his barcode reader pointed towards me. I WAS THE ONLY PERSON WHEN I walked into the movie auditorium. Not sure what to expect, I picked a seat on the aisle all the way back; so, I could avoid having people walking past me. It turned out, I did not have to worry because only 2 other people showed up, taking seats at the bottom row on the opposite side of the theater. I thought about removing my mask but decided to play it safe by keeping it on. There were ceiling fans slowing turning above, but I had no idea what the air quality was like in the theater. In an odd sort of way, I enjoyed having few people sitting in the theater with me. I did not have to be annoyed with the talking, texting and milling about of people that I typically experienced in the past. For two weeks I continued my schedule of going to the theater, despite the COVID news becoming more ominous. There was talk that our governor was going to order our state to be shut down. I wondered what I would do without a first run movie to review, from the theater. The last week before the shutdown was ordered, this film came out at the theaters. I debated with myself if it was a good idea to go since the news was getting worse; I decided to take a pass on this action, science fiction mystery and stayed home. It was a good call. FINDING THEMSELVES IN A MEDICAL FACILITY, five young adults were the test subjects in a study to determine what was their special powers. The doctor running the study said it was to protect them, but something did not feel right about the place. With Maisie Williams (Then Came You, Game of Thrones-TV) as Rahne Sinclair, Anna Taylor-Joy (The Witch, The Queen’s Gambit-TV) as Illyana Rasputin, Charlie Heaton (Shut In, Stranger Things-TV) as Sam Guthrie, Alice Braga (Portrait of a Thief, Elysium) as Dr. Reyes and Blu Hunt (Another Life-TV, The Originals-TV) as Moonstar; this film festival nominee was the movie studio’s attempt to create an origin story about the X-Men. This movie dragged on for a good portion of the time. Though I enjoyed seeing Maisie and Anna in a different type of role, the script was poorly written. I thought the few special effects were meager. In fact, there was blandness to this picture, both visually and mentally. I am glad I did not pay to see this, and have it become the last movie I saw in a theater before our lockdown.
1 ½ stars